Consider this hypothetical situation:
An openly gay couple walks into a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Fairfield California and orders lunch. The restaurant staff, instead of serving the couple lunch, drags the two men to the parking lot behind the restaurants and bludgeons them to death with large rocks. When the police arrive at the scene, they are informed by the Chick-Fil-A staff that everything is fine – they were simply operating according to biblical principles, as the president and COO of their company had instructed them to do.
This hypothetical situation would surely never happen – which is the point of this article.
Much debate and comment has been circulating in the media regarding Dan Cathy, the president and COO of the fast food restaurant chain Chick-Fil-A, and his opposition to same sex marriage. That a conservative Christian expresses his displeasure with same sex marriage is not at all surprising; indeed, Cathy’s views have been well known for some time; but what makes this story so funny is how Cathy justifies his views.
In an interview for the Baptist press on July 16th, Cathy claimed the following: “As an organization we can operate on biblical principles. So that is what we claim to be. [We are] based on biblical principles..” “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit.”
I do not intend to jump on the already crowded bandwagon of condemnation and express my own feelings of outrage over Mr. Cathy’s backward bigotry. No, what I want to show is that despite what Mr. Cathy says, in point of fact Chick-Fil-A does not even remotely base its operations on biblical principals, and the hypothetical example I gave in the beginning of this article is a perfect illustration of this fact.
You would be quite correct to think that stoning homosexuals to death is immoral and barbaric, but it also happens to be very much a biblical commandment. Just look it up in Leviticus 20:13. You might also think that an American organization should not include in the basis of its operations the rule that children must be publicly executed for cursing their parents; in which case you might want to read Leviticus 20:9. Add to this list girls who are found to not be virgins on their wedding night, people accused of witchcraft, people accused of being false prophets, adulterers, blasphemers, nonbelievers and many more.
If brutal public executions are too much for you (as they are quite common in the bible), why not focus on other biblical principles, like the ones that forbid people from eating pork, shaving, mixing fabrics, or associating with menstruating women?
But what about marriage? Does the bible not, in fact, say that marriage should be between a man and a woman? Well – in point of fact, it says no such thing. Indeed the bible is full of cases where one man (in many cases, supposedly a righteous man) has many wives, or wives and concubines. And let’s not forget biblical principles stipulating that if a husband dies, his wife is given to the brother of her late husband, laws about the sale of girl brides by their fathers, and one particularly delightful principle stipulating that if a man rapes a virgin girl, he must give the girl’s father 50 Shekels, and then take the poor girl as his wife. Yes, you read that right – check it out in Deuteronomy 22:28-29. Indeed, the simple fact that girls are no longer sold as brides in exchange for livestock, shows how removed we are from the biblical definition of a family.
When we look at the facts, it becomes clear that the only reason a person would ever claim to base anything on the bible is if he or she never read it.
It is possible that some Christian readers would have been quietly protesting while reading the last few paragraphs. After all, didn’t the meek and mild Jesus Christ do away with old testament barbarisms? And come to think of it, did Jesus not stipulate that marriage should only be between one man and one woman? Well, once again, if this is what you think the new testament says, you clearly did not read that book either. Not only did Jesus say absolutely nothing about marriage, he stipulates in no uncertain terms that not a single dot or iota from old testament law should be dismissed until the world comes to an end; look it up in Matthew 5:18-19.
I’m sorry, Mr. Cathy, but your views on marriage are no more based on the Judeo-Christian bible than my views on trigonometry are based on the Bhagavad Gita. If you want to claim biblical authority for your views, you better read what the bible says first.
Or maybe it’s time you stop trying to hide behind the vagaries of bronze aged tribal middle eastern scriptures and take responsibility for your own personal bigotry and backwardness.